Dr Mahinder Watsa, a veteran obstetrician-gynaecologist and sexologist who is well known for one of the most read candid newspaper columns ‘Ask the Sexpert’, has died aged 96.
For more than ten years, Dr.Watsa used his knowledge and wit to answer and advice thousands of Indians with the discreet queries they had about their sex lives.
At the age of 80, Dr. Watsa began writing the column in the Mumbai Mirror newspaper. The now-famous daily sex advice column quickly grabbed the interest of thousands of readers and to an extent helped eradicate the idea of seeing sex as a subject of taboo.
"Until we ran the column, Indian media rarely - if at all - used words like 'penis' and 'vagina,’” the paper's editor, Ms. Baghel told the BCC in 2014.
In his late 30’s, Dr. Watsa began his career by writing a medical advice column for a women’s magazine. He discontinued writing the column in the 1970’s when an editor asked him to censor the queries from the users and the answers he had for them about their sexual health.
Dr. Watsa once said that with so many years of experience dealing with people’s problems, he realized the sad truth that a big chunk of the population in the country is unaware or misdirected about their sexual wellness.
He was one among the very few to realize this issue in the early stages. In 1974, Dr. Watsa, proposed to the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) that sex education and counseling programs must be introduced to educate people and guide them from being mislead into following wrong practices.
Despite receiving strong oppositions, the FPAI gave a green signal to his proposal and rewrote history by starting India's first sex education, counselling and therapy centre.
In early 1980’s, Dr. Watsa left practice and began to work full-time in counselling and sex education.
Dr.Watsa’s life was an inspiration to Boman Irani’s character in the movie “Made in China.”
"Dad was a man of many dimensions. He lived a glorious life and on his terms. Today, we would like to celebrate his life as he has passed on to join his beloved [wife] Promila," said his children in an official statement post his death.